Watch: Ordinary Americans Become Heroes Of Harvey Devastation

Houston is the fourth-largest city in America, and right now much of it is underwater. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s horrific destruction in Houston, Texans are pulling together to help with rescues, food shelter, and support. The nation’s fourth-largest city remained mostly paralyzed by one of the largest downpours in U.S. history. And there was no relief in sight from the storm that spun into Texas as a Category 4 hurricane, then parked over the Gulf Coast.

The disaster is unfolding on an epic scale. The storm is generating an amount of rain that would normally be seen only once in more than 1,000 years, said Edmond Russo, a deputy district engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers, which was concerned that floodwaters would spill around a pair of 70-year-old reservoir dams that protect downtown Houston. The rising water chased thousands of people to rooftops or higher ground and overwhelmed rescuers, who could not keep up with the constant calls for help. Volunteers joined emergency teams in pulling people from their homes or from the water. Authorities urged people to get on top of their houses to avoid becoming trapped in attics and to wave sheets or towels to draw attention to their location.

President Donald Trump has issued a state of emergency in both Texas and Louisiana, which may see flooding related to the storm that has drenched Houston and its surrounding areas. Vice President Mike Pence, in a radio interview, said that he expects Congress to approve a funding package to assist in recovery efforts to respond to Harvey, and noted that more than 8,000 federal officials were in the area, and that they had shipped more than 1.2 million meals and one million liters of water to the area. Texas Governor Greg Abbott activated all 12,000 members of the state’s National Guard to join local police in the rescue effort before waters rise again. Another 38-64 centimetres of rain is expected in the coming days.

Disasters tend to bring out the worst in some people and the best in others. Here are some videos highlighting some of the heroes of Houston. Some are rescue workers and others are ordinary Americans doing what they can to help out.

US insurance companies are anticipating flood damage in Texas may equal that from Hurricane Katrina and say that Harvey could reach well over $US10 billion ($12.6 billion) in economic loss.